WAPAKONETA — The Auglaize County Historical Society and Auglaize County Public District Library will host a closing reception for the exhibit “I Got This From Vern: A Sampling of the Collections of Vern Doenges” on Thursday, May 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Wapakoneta Library, 203 Perry St., Wapakoneta. The public is invited to attend the reception, at which members of Doenges’s family will be present.
“I Got This from Vern” includes images from the late Vern Doenges’s vast collection of local photographs, advertisements, and newspaper clippings, which his family donated to the Auglaize County Historical Society.
The exhibit ends as of Saturday, May 13. The library’s hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Vern had such a wide variety of interests in local history, and preserved so many different aspects of the ‘Auglaize County story.’ Of course, he collected many things himself, but people also gave him historic photographs, postcards, and more. They knew they could trust Vern with our history,” said Auglaize County Historical Society Administrator Rachel Barber.
“In addition to being a wonderful collector, Vern was also very generous with his knowledge and with his collections. Vern often lent items to individuals and historical societies, so that the information could be more widely shared throughout the community. To me, his generosity is what made him such a great historian,” said Barber.
About Vern Doenges
Vernon E. “Vern” Doenges, was born Feb. 18, 1922, on the family farm in St. Marys Township, Auglaize County, the son of William J. & Marie (Oldiges) Doenges. On Sept. 11, 1948, he married Eileen M. Hasson, who died 2005; the couple had four children.
Vern attended the one-room Graybill School for eight years. He then graduated from Memorial High School, St. Marys in 1939, which were followed by business classes at Northwestern School of Commerce. He was medically deferred from the military service. He held various jobs — bookkeeper, musician, laundry route supervisor, janitorial service — before being elected in 1959 as Auglaize County Auditor, a position in which he served seven four-year terms. Vern was active in multiple organizations. He compiled the Wapakoneta Daily News column Looking Back for many years, his final column appearing on Jan. 31, 2014. Vern died in February 2014.
Founded in 1963, the Auglaize County Historical Society collects, preserves, interprets, and shares the history of Auglaize County and its people through exhibits, programs, and publications.
For more information about this event or the Auglaize County Historical Society, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-738-9328. The Auglaize County Historical Society is also on Facebook.